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Federal appeals court upholds fraud convictions of Adelphia execs

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld [opinion, PDF] the fraud convictions of Adelphia Communications [corporate website] founder John J. Rigas and son Timothy J. Rigas on all but one count Thursday, reversing and acquitting the defendants on one lesser count of bank fraud. The defendants argued that the fraud convictions should be reversed because the jury was not presented with expert testimony concerning accounting regulations, but the appeals court rejected the argument, saying that the government does not need to present such expert testimony because the jury "could have reasonably found that the defendants committed fraud" and "intentionally mislead investors" without being made aware of specific accounting regulations.

The defendants were convicted in 2004 of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to make and cause to be made false statements in filings with the SEC, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, fifteen counts of securities fraud and two counts of bank fraud. In 2005, John Rigas was sentenced [JURIST report] to 15 years in prison, while Timothy Rigas was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In November 2005, another son, Michael Rigas, pleaded guilty to falsifying a financial record [JURIST report] and was sentenced to ten months in prison under a plea agreement. AP has more.

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